Dr. Walter Hart, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools, who will celebrate his two-year anniversary with the district this fall, has implemented positive change in a relatively short period of time. The change magnifies progress across the district, and in particular, Hart has secured a forward movement in technology that serves the entire school family.
“All of our schools and the HPS Administration Services Building are now completely wireless,” Hart said. “And this summer, our technology team, led by Jeff Tice, technology director, is dedicated to updating a significant portion of the computers in the district. They are implementing new management systems and software distribution processes to improve efficiency.
“Additionally, HPS is sponsoring the second annual e Leader Academy, an intense kick-off training event for employees who will serve as technology liaisons for their school colleagues. We are also preparing for a new district website, with plans to unveil the fresh look this fall.”
According to Hart, advanced technology integration is ongoing, along with a pilot implementation of the one-to-one Chromebooks (notebook/laptop device) at Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School, as well as the district’s recent Technology Visioning Day events.
The first HPS Technology Visioning Day took place in the early spring. Participants explored technology creativity designed to enhance classroom learning. HPS stakeholders, including students, teachers, principals, parents and administrators, all participated in the event.
“Our district values the potential benefits that technology tools can have towards impacting student learning,” said Tice. “Survival in today and tomorrow’s world will require expertise in being able to successfully navigate in an emerging digital environment. A valued tool, technology requires the skill, vision, creativity and mastery of a highly trained classroom teacher who is supported by the personnel and resources to be genuinely effective.”
The second Technology Visioning Day, led by Amos Fodchuk, an education consultant, engaged principals and administrators in a sequence of studies that includes technology applications and programs that are aligned to personalized learning outcomes.
HPS employees are dedicated to shaping the district’s future with an emphasis on personalized learning, providing value to the programs that are in place, according to Hart. “HPS is preparing a scale of technology integration initiatives that will serve to further enhance and personalize teaching and learning. A synthesis of best practices was developed during the Technology Visioning Days, outlining a sequence of key deliverables that will allow the district to achieve its vision.”
Moving forward, Hart believes that HPS is strengthening a direction for sustainable personalized learning. “We continue to work with our stakeholders to produce measurable, district-wide policies and protocols that inform curriculum assessment and instructional goals across grade level and subject area,” said Hart. “It is essential to integrate fast-forward technology applications with our instructional strategies.”
(Source: Hickory Record)